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Ageing, sun exposure and hormone changes all play a part in skin changes during midlife. There are some effective strategies to care and maintain your skin’s health and appearance.


Menopause hormone changes can have a big impact on your skin. Skin tissues have receptors for oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone and each of these hormones plays a part in midlife skin health.

Reduced oestrogen in particular results in a loss of collagen and elastin (the scaffold for skin), reduced function of hyaluronic acid and ceramides (moisture retention and skin barrier function), and a relative increase in the activity of androgens* such as testosterone.  The results of these changes include-

  • increased dryness
  • itching
  • sensitivity
  • appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • acne breakouts
  • impaired healing.

Research suggests that 30% of collagen is lost in the first 5 years of menopause and 2% per year thereafter. The rapid loss of collagen leads to accelerated skin ageing like skin thinning, sagging and wrinkles.

Women often find that their skin no longer tolerates they previous skincare routine or is sensitive to new products.

What can you do?

1.  Look after your body – eat well, get enough sleep, stop smoking, limit alcohol.

2. Protect your skin from the sun – cover up and use sunscreen. Don’t underestimate the importance of this.

3. Daily skincare regime – simplify your products, use a simple cream cleanser and moisturiser, limit abrasives and mechanical exfoliants

4. Add active ingredients – niacinamide (a vitamin B derivative) improves the skin barrier; retinoids boost collagen, reduce pigmentation and increase cell turnover; azelaic acid reduces inflammation; salicylic acid also reduces inflammation; vitamins C and E also have ant-inflammatory and collagen boosting properties..

5. Resurfacing treatments – laser, peels etc can be used intermittently if your skin tolerates them.

6. Anti-wrinkle injections – botox injections work to reduce facial expressions causing wrinkles.

7. Seek medical help for specific conditions such as problematic acne, rosacea or pigmentation.

8. Menopause hormone treatment can reduce skin ageing.

Your skin care regime

Choosing and using skincare can be confusing. A simple regime might look like this-


  • clean with a simple non-foaming cleanser
  • apply active ingredients / serums
  • simple moisturiser
  • sunscreen
  • makeup.


  • clean with a simple non-foaming cleanser
  • apply active ingredients / serums)
  • (apply eye serum or cream)
  • simple moisturiser.

Caring for your skin is an essential investment in overall well-being. Healthy skin isn’t just about aesthetics, your skin serves as a protective barrier, impacting both physical and mental health.



*Androgens are responsible for the acne breakouts at puberty and in women with PCOS. During late perimenopause and early post-menopause, oestrogen and progesterone levels fall quite dramatically but testosterone levels maintain their very gradual decline that started in the 30’s. This means that the balance between oestrogen and testosterone shifts and results in a relative overactivity of testosterone in some tissues (seen as the growth of facial hairs, scalp hair thinning and sometimes acne).

Whilst some women use testosterone therapy, menopause is not a state of “testosterone deficiency”.



This information is for general educational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. Please see your health professional for advice that is personalised to you.
Key Take Aways

Menopause directly impacts skin health and quality

A simple daily regime including active ingredients has been proven to help slow age related skin changes

MHT also reduces age related skin changes



Long-term effects of hormone therapy on skin rigidity and wrinkles

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